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London 2012: Olympic wrap will not feature Dow branding

Category: England

Published: 19th Dec 2011 15:44:13

The £7m fabric wrap around the 2012 Olympic Stadium will not feature the branding of sponsor Dow Chemical, Games organisers Locog have confirmed.

Dow was never going to appear on the wrap during the Games, under IOC rules.

But the firm agreed it will also not appear on "test panels" beforehand.

The involvement of US multinational Dow, which manufactures chemicals, had caused controversy due to its links to the firm behind the deadly 1984 Bhopal gas disaster in India.

The highly prominent wrap, which will be 900m (0.56 miles) long and 20m (67ft) high, will surround the stadium.

A Locog spokeswoman said: "There will definitely not be any Dow Chemical branding on the wrap before, during or after the Olympic Games.

"There was discussion about (having the branding on) the test panels but Dow Chemical have now agreed to adhere to what we call our 'clean policy'."

Dow, the world's second-largest chemical manufacturer, is a major sponsor, becoming a Worldwide Olympic Partner in 2010 in a deal which lasts until 2020.

Under strict IOC "clean venue" rules no company is allowed to advertise during the period of the Games.

However the company said it had had the option to feature its branding on five "test panels" which would appear before the event but had agreed with Locog during the summer not to take up this right.

"In mid-summer, Locog and Dow discussed Dow deferring the rights to these five panels to allow free and full execution of the design as determined by Locog," a Dow spokesman said.

"Dow agreed to this to support Locog's and London 2012's vision for the stadium wrap."

In 1999, Dow merged with the Union Carbide Corporation, whose subsidiary Union Carbide India ran the Bhopal pesticide plant where the leak happened. It is considered to be one of the world's worst industrial disasters.

Rights groups, some athletes and Indian and British politicians have called for the company's sponsorship to be shelved.

Dow has said in the past that its $470m (£288m) settlement for those affected by the tragedy is fair and final.

The company insists that while the past must never be forgotten, its "position as a Worldwide Olympic Partner" represents its "vision for the future".

Earlier this month, India instructed its Olympics officials to raise the issue of Dow Chemical's sponsorship of the Games with Locog.

The sports ministry told the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to convey its concerns, saying there was "strong public sentiment" on the issue.

In November, the IOA said there was "no question" of a boycott of the Games amid the furore over Dow.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has previously defended Dow's role, saying he was satisfied, "that at no time did Dow operate, own or were involved with the plant either at the time of the [1984] disaster or crucially at the time of the full and final settlement".

Dow became one of 11 Worldwide Olympic Partners in 2010, joining companies that include Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Samsung, Panasonic and Visa.

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BBC News, 2011. London 2012: Olympic wrap will not feature Dow branding [Online] (Updated 19th Dec 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/211766/London-2012-Olympic-wrap-will-not-feature-Dow-branding [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

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